Sandro Rosell: "I wouldn't have gone to jail if I hadn't been Barcelona president"
Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes being elected at Camp Nou resulted in him being subjected to greater scrutiny over his financial affairs.
Sandro Rosell claims he would not have been sent to prison for alleged money laundering, of which he was later acquitted, had he not been president of Barcelona.
Rosell, who was president of Barça from July 2010 until January 2014, was arrested in May 2017 and spent 20 months in prison after being accused, along with five others, of laundering fees for the audiovisual rights of 24 Brazil matches and also a sponsorship contract with Nike. After being given a conditional release in February 2019, he was acquitted of the charges two months later when prosecutors at Spain's National Court, who were seeking a six-year sentence, failed to prove the allegations.
Rosell resigned from his role with Barça after an investigation was launched into the club's signing of Neymar from Santos. In his first interview since his release, the 56-year-old claimed he was only targeted due to his position with the Catalan giants.
"If I had not been the president of Barça, I would not have gone to jail. Of that I have no doubt," Rosell told Mundo Deportivo. "Nor do I think anyone would have investigated me as a business, nobody would have spied on me, nor would there have been such an aggressive fiscal prosecution that I still face. [There were] 72 inspections from the tax office after I was chosen as elected president of Barcelona. Before being president, [there were] zero financial inspections. Is that a coincidence?"
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